Section I, 1282-1900

The Mafia is born in Sicily. Its earliest suggested date of birth is in the island's murky medieval period. Beginning in the middle of the 19th Century, the Mafia transplants itself into the fertile soil of the New World.

Yr Mo Dy City State Person(s) Event
1282 3 29 Palermo Palermo "Sicilian Vespers" revolution against the occupying Angevins is traditionally viewed as the birth of the Sicilian Mafia. There are no contemporary mentions of the name "Mafia," a term which comes into being hundreds of years later, but the underground movement against Anjou may be seen as the ancestor of a later Mafia. The revolution began on Easter Sunday in 1282 - March 29 by the Julian calendar then in use.
1792 New York NY Coulter's Brewery is erected at the Five Points intersection of New York's Lower East Side, facing Paradise Square. The Brewery in later years and in a later incarnation as a broken-down tenement would become the centerpiece of New York's most impoverished and criminally active neighborhood.
1805 6 22 Genoa Liguria Giuseppe Mazzini Mazzini is born into a middle class family in Genoa.
1837 New York NY Coulter's Brewery on the Lower East Side becomes a tenement house. In the decades to come, it would become known as the "Old Brewery" and be inhabited by the poorest of New York City's immigrant poor. It would be the site of numerous gang battles, murders and assorted crimes.
1843 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca Peter Carvanna Jr. (later Joseph Peter Macheca) is born to Peter and Marietta Carvanna in New Orleans. Peter and Marietta live as husband and wife.
1846 New York NY Ladies' Home Missionary Society considers establishing a religious mission at the Five Points. Governing board decides it is impractical.
1847 c. New Orleans LA Peter Carvanna Peter Carvanna, convicted of a serious crime, receives a sentence of life in prison. Under Napoleonic Code, his relationship with Marietta dissolves.
1848 c. New Orleans LA Guzeppi Mercieca, Joseph Macheca Joseph Macheca, 33, and Marietta, 23, marry. Though not legally adopted, Peter Jr.'s name is changed to Joseph Peter (“J.P.”) Macheca.
1848 New York NY Ladies' Home Missionary Society again considers establishing a mission at the Five Points. No suitable structure for meetings can be found.
1850 New York NY Ladies' Home Missionary Society opens a temporary mission at the Five Points.
1851 12 New York NY A benefit concert held at Metropolitan Hall raises $4,000 for a planned headquarters of the Ladies Home Missionary Society in the Five Points. The structure is to house a chapel, school rooms and clean, low-rent tenements.
1852 2 5 New York NY A Committee of the Ladies' Home Missionary Society recommends the purchase of Coulter's Old Brewery at the Five Points for conversion into a mission headquarters.
1852 3 8 New York NY The Ladies Home Missionary Society purchases Coulter's Old Brewery at the Five Points. Conversion of the delapidated structure into a headquarters is abandoned in favor of demolition and construction.
1852 12 New York NY The Old Brewery building at the Five Points is demolished.
1853 1 27 New York NY Cornerstone is laid for the Ladies Home Missionary Society headquarters on the site of the Old Brewery at Five Points. During construction, the society's operations are moved to a wooden structure in the small park at the center of the Five Points (Paradise Square?).
1854 6 16 New York NY A new headquarters for the Ladies Home Missionary Society is dedicated at the site of the Old Brewery at Five Points. The building is 75 feet long, 45 feet deep, five stories tall. Its chapel accommodates 500. Its school rooms have space for 200 pupils. Housing for the missionary and his family and twenty three-room apartments are also included. The building cost $36,000 to build. A balance of $4,000 is still owed.
1854 Corleone Palermo Antonio Morello Approximate date of birth in some older sources for the alleged most senior of the Morello-Terranova brothers. While a New York immigrant named Antonio Morello did earn a criminal reputation around the turn of the 20th Century,he was not related to the Morello-Terranova family.
1856 New Orleans LA Norbert Trepagnier Attempted murder of court clerk Norbert Trepagnier, local Know-Nothing leader, prompts violent reprisals in New Orleans’ Sicilian colony.
1857 4 18 Giuseppe Calicchio Future New York Mafioso is born.
1857 8 New Orleans LA Guzeppi Mercieca Mercieca (Joseph Macheca) enters into a business partnership with established oyster and fruit merchant J.B. Pigniolo, and George Borch and Peter J. Poelman. The business is located at Front Street between Crossman and Customhouse Streets.
1857 Monreale Palermo Charles Matranga Future New Orleans Mafia boss is born.
1857 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca, David C. Hennessy Future New Orleans Police Chief David C. Hennessy is born to Margaret and David Hennessy Sr., 275 Girod St., New Orleans.
1858 New Orleans LA Charles Matranga Family moves from Sicily.
1859 Palermo Palermo Giuseppe Mazzini Revolutionary and former member of Neapolitan Camorra, Mazzini seems to have united Palermo opponents of Bourbon rule within a "Mafia" underground organization built along the lines of the Camorra.
1860 1 New Orleans LA Raffaele Agnello Palermo Mafioso Agnello arrives in New Orleans. His brother Joseph is already settled in the city.
1860 4 3 Palermo Palermo Giuseppe Mazzini With Mafia help, the Republican movement overthrows Bourbon authority in Palermo, Sicily.
1860 5 26 New York NY Despite the conversion of the Old Brewery into a religious mission headquarters, "The Five Points district is not yet, by any means, a model neighborhood. Drunkenness, theft, murder, and licentiousness still stalk abroad there; the oath, the ribald song, the loud quarrel, and tee maudlin complaint of fallen, besotted, degraded womanhood still offend the eye and ear every hour; but its more horrible dens have been broken up; temperance, morality, education and religion have found a foothold there..."
1860 8 30 Padula Salerno Joseph Petrosino Petrosino, future leader of the New York Police Department's Italian Squad, is born to Prospero and Maria Giuseppa Arato Petrosino in Padula.
1860 11 Washington DC Abraham Lincoln Republican Abraham Lincoln is elected U.S. President with less than forty percent of the nation’s popular vote.
1861 1 26 LA Louisiana state legislature formally adopts the Ordinance of Secession on Jan. 26, separating the state from the federal Union. State seizes federal Mint and Customhouse buildings in New Orleans as well as nearby forts.
1861 2 4 LA Louisiana joins Confederate States of America on Feb. 4.
1861 9 10 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca J.P. Macheca enlists in the 22nd Louisiana Infantry of the Confederate Army on Sept. 10.
1861 12 LA Federal forces grabbed Ship Island near mouth of Mississippi in December.
1861 Palermo Palermo Mafia appears to begin incorporating the groups of bandits in the Sicilian hills.
1862 4 18 New Orleans LA Admiral Farragut's federal fleet bombards Forts St. Philip and Jackson at mouth of Mississippi on April 18 and later sails up the Mississippi to New Orleans.
1862 5 2 New Orleans LA U.S. General Benjamin Butler, with 15,000 federal troops, takes command in New Orleans on May 2.
1862 Bisacquino Vito Cascio Ferro Cascio Ferro is born. He will later become an important Mafioso on both sides of the Atlantic.
1862 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca J.P. Macheca’s Confederate enlistment period expires. He is allowed to return home.
1863 8 28 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca, Anthony Skillman, Capt. Hayes Macheca, Skillman and Hayes are tried and convicted in connection with a scheme to steal and sell U.S. government property - barrels of pork and beef. Macheca was ordered to pay a fine of $50.
1863 Giuseppe Palermo Future New York Mafioso is born.
1863 The term "Mafia" becomes more widely known after a play about heroic Palermo jail inmates is produced.
1864 12 10 Naples Campania Giosue Gallucci Future crime boss of East Harlem, Gallucci is born in Naples, Italy.
1865 4 9 VA Robert E. Lee Civil War major hostilities end as Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders on April 9.
1865 4 14 Washington DC Abraham Lincoln Lincoln is mortally wounded on the evening of April 14. He dies the following morning.
1865 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca Macheca, wealthy from Union blockade running operations in Texas, returns to Louisiana, sets up steamship trading company, involves himself in local Democratic politics. Begins to organize the "Innocents" gang of Sicilian immigrants.
1867 5 2 Corleone Palermo Giuseppe Morello Birth. (a.k.a. Peter, "The Clutch Hand.") Giuseppe Morello was the oldest of the Morello-Terranova brothers. He was half-brother to Nicholas, Ciro and Vincent Terranova. A number of sources incorrectly place Giuseppe Morello's birth in either 1863 or 1870.
1867 Sicily Rosario Meli Meli, 22, possibly a key player in the youth-oriented early Mafia, is convicted of murders. He escapes from police.
1867 New Orleans LA Republican authorities in Louisiana hire Republicans and African-Americans for police jobs, dismissing white Democrats.
1867 New Orleans LA Arthur Guerin, David Hennessy Sr. Arthur Guerin kills Special Officer David Hennessy Sr. in a barroom gunfight.
1867 New Orleans LA David C. Hennessy Son of a murdered special police officer, young David C. Hennessy is welcomed into the police force as a messenger.
1868 10 24 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca J.P. Macheca supports Presidential candidate Horatio Seymour of New York against Republican Ulysses Grant. Macheca assembles a large gang, comprised mostly of Sicilians and named the Innocenti (Innocents), leads them in violent attacks against New Orleans African-Americans starting Oct. 24.
1868 10 26 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca The Innocents raid and rob the Pioneer Grant Radical Club rooms near the corner of Triton Walk and Philippa Street. The Innocents marchers were fired upon on two occasions during their nighttime procession.
1868 10 27 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca, Judge Gastinel The Daily Picayune reports that a member of the Innocents club is shot and killed during a club march - shots fired from a building at Basin and St. Peter Streets near the Treme market. Innocents take over the neighborhood until dawn. Police withdraw. U.S. Army sends in cavalry and infantry to quiet the area. Innocents pull back to area behind Cathedral.
1868 10 28 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca Innocents are armed and waiting behind the Cathedral for a decision of what steps to take next.
1868 10 28 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca, Raffaele Agnello, Litero Barba On his way home from a meeting of Macheca's Innocents gang at the Orleans Ballroom, Litero Barba is shot to death at the corner of St. Philip and Chartres Streets. Barba is a leader of the local Messina colony. While the killing was first attributed to African Americans, Mafia leader Raffaele Agnello was later deemed responsible.
1868 10 31 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca In an effort to quiet the community, the city decides to retain General Steedman as chief of police pro tem. The city had planned to replace Steedman. General Rousseau visits the Innocents and asks them to disband.
1868 12 New Orleans LA Raffaele Agnello, Joseph Agnello, brother of Mafia boss Raffaele Agnello, hosts a party at his Royal Street residence to bring together the competing factions in the local Sicilian underworld. The gathering turns violent. Agnello lieutenant Alphonse Mateo is shot in the face at close range. Messinian faction boss Joseph Banano is shot in the back. Both men survive.
1868 New Orleans LA Reconstruction government creates the Louisiana State Lottery. Due to a corrupting influence that appears to reach into every aspect of Louisiana life, it becomes known as “the Octopus.”
1868 New Orleans LA Military occupation of Louisiana ends, but Republican-dominated state legislature forms Metropolitan Police, answering only to state officials.
1868 New Orleans LA Crescent City Democratic Club and similar conservative organizations join in an anti-Republican White League network.
1868 New Orleans LA Rosario Meli, Raffaele Agnello, Joseph Macheca Meli turns up in New Orleans as a subordinate to local Mafia boss Raffaelo Agnello.
1869 2 15 New Orleans LA Raffaelo Agnello, Agnello sends his brother Joseph and several other members of his organization to attack Messinian gang bosses at home. The group bursts into a Chartres Street residence, opening fire with shotguns. Messinian leaders Joseph Banano, Giovanni Casabianca, Pedro Allucho and two other men managed to escape with only minor injuries.
1869 3 New Orleans LA Raffaele Agnello After a brief stay in the Galveston, Texas, area, Messina faction leaders return to New Orleans in March and are attacked at New Orleans Poydras Market.
1869 4 1 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca, Raffaele Agnello J.P. secretly contests the leadership of Palermo Mafia leader Raffaele Agnello in the Sicilian community. During a walk toward the Macheca shop on April 1, Agnello is shot and killed. Monreale-based Stuppagghieri Mafia becomes the dominant force in New Orleans’ Sicilian underworld.
1869 4 1 New Orleans LA Raffaele Agnello, Joseph Macheca Assassin Joseph Florada ambushes and kills Agnello in front of the Macheca produce store on Toulouse Street. He shoots Agnello in the face at close range with a blunderbuss pistol. Agnello bodyguard Frank Sacarro pursues and shoots at the Florada. Florada escapes through a nearby bakery.
1869 7 15 Fortunato LoMonte Fortunato 'Charles' LoMonte is born in Sicily.
1869 7 22 New Orleans LA Raffaelo Agnello Agnello's death is avenged as his brother Joseph and Salvador Rosa murder Messinian leaders Joseph Banano and Pedro Allucho near the French Market.
1869 9 6 Ciminna Palermo Rosario Dispenza Dispenza, future crime boss of Chicago's Near North Side, is born in Ciminna, near Caccamo.
1871 7 12 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca Macheca serves as aide to the grand marshal of the Tiro al Bersaglio club as it parades in New Orleans to celebrate Italian unification.
1871 2 16 Colosimi Calabria Jim Colosimo Birth of future Chicago vice lord (a.k.a. "Big Jim").
1871 In the decade 1861-1871, a total of 12,211 Italians – almost all from northern Italy – entered the United States. The number was 0.51 percent of all immigrants.
1872 3 10 Pisa Tuscany Giuseppe Mazzini Death while in custody of Italian government in Pisa.
1872 4 20 New Orleans LA Raffaelo Agnello, Joseph Agnello Agnello's brother Joseph is shot to death at the Picayune Pier. His killers are Joseph Maressa, Joseph Florada and two other men.
1872 6 7 Valledolmo Palermo Anthony D'Andrea Future Chicago crime boss D'Andrea is born to Giuseppe and Francesca Miceli D'Andrea. He is the second of their sons to be given the name Antonino.
1872 7 1 New Orleans LA A group of Sicilian counterfeiters is arrested by Special Officer Harris. The group had been manufacturing counterfeit coins from a house at 107 Cypress Street.
1872 7 12 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca Macheca holds an organizational meeting at the St. Louis Hotel for his new Independent Columbus Legion. His meeting announcement is signed by him as club president.
1872 7 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca, Joseph Agnello After the murder of Joseph Agnello in July, the underworld war between the Palermo and Messina factions quickly ends.
1872 11 LA William Pitt Kellogg, John McEnery By the end of the year, two men – Republican William Pitt Kellogg and Democrat John McEnery – claim to have been elected governor. Rival state legislatures are also formed.
1872 Chicago IL Jim Colosimo Calabrian Colosimo arrives in Chicago.
1873 10 13 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca Macheca serves as first marshal during a parade of the Tiro al Bersaglio honoring the discovery of America by Columbus.
1873 10 17 Vallelunga Caltanissetta Giuseppe DiCarlo Giuseppe DiCarlo is born in Vallelunga, Sicily.
1873 LA James Longstreet, William Pitt Kellogg, John McEnery, John Angello, James Hill Former Confederate General James Longstreet supports Republicans and wins appointment to lead the Kellogg government’s Louisiana state militia. McEnery government quietly forms its own militia under the leadership of Confederate Colonels John B. Angell and James D. Hill. Daughter Rosa is born to J.P. and Bridget Macheca.
1874 9 9 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca Macheca calls to order the first meeting of the Cosmopolitan Democratic Club at the corner of Royal and Orleans Streets. The group includes a large number of Italians, Spaniards, Austrians and "other foreign citizens." The group's purpose is to oppose the state government usurpation. It elects P. Torre Jr. as president. Macheca is elected as grand marshal.
1874 9 12 New Orleans LA Steamer Mississippi arrives at the Port of New Orleans Sept 12. with a shipment of weapons for the White League. Metropolitan Police board the ship and seize the weapons.
1874 9 14 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca Joseph P. Macheca, 31, captain McEnery Guards, leads an armed force of 300 Italians in the White League's revolt against the Republican state government on Sept. 14 (Battle of Liberty Place).
1874 Antonino Leone, Giuseppe Esposito Mafia gains international attention as leader Leone and his lieutenant, Giuseppe Esposito, kidnap English banker and demand ransom. Payments are slow. Leone reportedly mails first one ear, then the other, and then a portion of the victim's nose to his family. Reports of the mutilation appear to have been greatly exaggerated.
1875 4 4 New Orleans LA Antonio Cecala Future New York Mafioso is born.
1875 Antonino Leone, Giuseppe Esposito Under pressure from the English government, the Italian army moves against Leone. Enduring significant losses, the army encircles Leone's band in the hills and captures the leader as well as Esposito. Leone is sentenced to life in prison (serves only a few years before escaping to North Africa), but Esposito escapes from police and returns to lead the Sicilian Mafia.
1875 San Francisco CA Rosario Meli Meli and some followers move from New Orleans to San Francisco in the hopes of establishing themselves as leaders of a Mafia group there.
1875 5 21 Corleone Palermo Carlo Piranio Future Dallas crime boss Carlo T. Piranio is born in Corleone.
1877 3 19 Palermo Ignazio Lupo Born to a middle class family in Province of Palermo, Sicily. (Birthdate on WWI draft registration card was March 21, 1877.)
1877 4 5 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca Macheca is named in an advertisement calling for a mass meeting at Lafayette Square, April 6, at noon.
1877 Calogero Vizzini Future Sicilian Mafia leader is born. (Known to Mafiosi as "Zu Calo" or Uncle Calo.)
1878 9 29 New Orleans LA Salvatore Marino Salvatore Marino, leader of the Stuppagghieri, a rebel Mafia group in New Orleans, dies after a bout with Yellow Fever.
1878 11 New York NY Giuseppe Esposito With authorities on his trail, Esposito decides to flee Sicily for the U.S. Sails to New York via Marseilles, France.
1878 Philadelphia PA Rosario Meli Meli runs a busy fruit stand on Tenth Street between Chestnut and Market Streets in Philadelphia before suddenly disappearing. He introduced himself to saloonkeeper A. Cavagnaro as a Mason. Cavagnaro took him to the Masonic Temple "and it was ascertained that he was up in Masonry."
1878 San Francisco CA Rosario Meli Meli and several associates are accused of murder. An underling confesses to the killing and insists it was a matter of honor. No prosecution in the case. Group then charged, convicted and jailed for robbery.
1879 8 7 Salemi Trapani Gaspare Messina Future New England crime boss Gaspare Messina is born to Salvatore and Gasparina Clementi Messina in Salemi, Sicily.
1879 Spring New Orleans LA Giuseppe Esposito, Joseph Macheca Looking for greener pastures, Esposito and some associates relocate from New York to New Orleans. Esposito renames himself Vincenzo Rebello.
1879 10 New Orleans LA Giuseppe Esposito (a.k.a. Vincenzo Rebello) Esposito marries Sarah Castagno in New Orleans. News travels back to Sicily, where Esposito left a wife and children.
1879 Antonino Leone The legendary brigand leader Leone reportedly escapes from prison, disappears in North Africa.
1879 New York NY Joe Petrosino Future leader of the NYPD Italian Squad arrives in New York City.
1880 8 31 New York NY Rosario Meli Meli, 28, arrives in New York after a cross-country trip from San Francisco. San Francisco officials intend for him to be deported to Italy to face murder charges there. He is accused of leading a band of brigands that attacked a group of English tourists three years earlier, killing two of them. They turn him over to New York Police Inspector Byrnes.
1880 9 2 New York NY Rosario Meli U.S. Commissioner Douel reviews deportation paperwork accompanying Meli from San Francisco and finds it in order. Douel says he has no jurisdiction over Meli.
1880 9 8 New York NY Rosario Meli American officials seek to deport Meli. He is moved to New York and reportedly boarded ship for Sicily. However, he seems never to have arrived at his destination.
1880 Vincenzo Giglio Future New York Mafioso is born.
1880 In the decade 1871-1880, a total of 55,762 Italians – mostly Sicilians – entered the United States. The number was 2 percent of all immigrants.
1880 New Orleans LA Giuseppe Provenzano Esposito lieutenant Provenzano controls Sicilian labor on New Orleans produce docks.
1880 New Orleans LA David Hennessey Hennessey, who works in the New Orleans police force along with his cousin Mike, first becomes aware of a Mafia presence in his town.
1881 7 5 New Orleans LA Giuseppe Esposito. Tony Labruzzo, David Hennessy Learning of his Sicilian Mafia connections through his Sicilian wife and an informer, Tony Labruzzo, Hennessey nabs Esposito and turns him over to be deported. Esposito returns to New York City on July 13 for an extradition hearing.
1881 7 13 New York NY Giuseppe Esposito Esposito insists he is Vincenzo Rebello and has been wrongly identified. He cannot be deported until authorities can prove his identity through photos and witnesses. New York Sicilian community mobilizes to assist him.
1881 9 21 New York NY Giuseppe Esposito His identity proved, Esposito is deported, faces murder charges in Italy. Internal struggles erupt within Mafia organizations in New Orleans and New York as Mafiosi seek to determine who has betrayed Esposito.
1881 11 19 Piana dei Greci Palermo Giuseppe Ernesto Ardizzone Future southern California Mafioso Giuseppe Ardizzone is born in Piana dei Greci (now Piana degli Albanesi).
1881 11 Palermo Palermo Giuseppe Esposito, Angelo Cusimano, Giuseppe Grande Imprisoned Esposito files a lawsuit against Cusimano and his father-in-law Grande of New Orleans, seeking money and property (a lugger) he says the two stole from him. According to Esposito, he trusted Cusimano upon his arrival in New Orleans in March 1880 because of recommendations by friends in Sicily.
1881 12 New Orleans LA Giuseppe Esposito, Angelo Cusimano, Giuseppe Grande Cusimano and Grande say that Esposito's accusations against them are false. They admit to maintaining a credit account for Esposito and to owing him a balance of $85.20.
1881 Rome Giuseppe Esposito Convicted of murders, Esposito is jailed for life.
1882 Naples Campania Johnny Torrio Future Chicago gang boss is born (a.k.a. "Terrible John").
1882 Giuseppe Piraino Birth of future Brooklyn racketeer known as "the Clutching Hand."
1882 New York NY Electric lights make their debut in lower Manhattan - 1882
1882 New York NY Arnold Rothstein Future New York racketeer and underworld financier is born.
1882 New Orleans LA Giuseppe Provenzano, Two factions emerge in New Orleans after Esposito's arrest. Provenzano's group, comprised of more traditional mafiosi with ties to Palermo leadership, are angered that Macheca did not use his political influence to save Esposito. The Macheca-Matranga faction includes home-grown criminals. Macheca is able to use political muscle to have Hennessey brothers dismissed from police force.
1883 1 20 Galloway Township NJ Enoch Johnson Future crime boss of Atlantic City, NJ, Johnson is born in Galloway Township.
1883 Vito Cascio Ferro Assault is reportedly first official charge to go on Cascio Ferro's police record.
1883 New York NY Joe Petrosino Joins New York police force.
1884 4 5 Staten Island NY Antonio Flaccomio, Camillo Farach Farach's dead body is found in a field on Staten Island. His business partner (cigar store at 103 Degraw Street in Brooklyn), Antonio Flaccomio, is primary suspect. Police believe the two dueled with sword canes over a financial disagreement. Coroner's jury eventually decides that Farach's death is the result of a suicide, though he was stabbed both in his chest and his back.
1884 5 17 Corleone Palermo Tommaso Gagliano Future New York crime boss Gagliano is born in Corleone.
1884 6 12 Siculilana Agrigento Nicola Gentile Future Mafia leader in Pittsburgh and Kansas City, Gentile is born in Siculiana.
1884 11 19 Piana dei Greci Palermo Giuseppe Ardizzone Future Los Angeles Mafia leader Giuseppe Ernesto Ardizzone is born in Piana dei Greci, Sicily.
1884 New York NY Johnny Torrio Taken to live in New York by his recently widowed mother.
1886 1 17 Menfi Agrigento Giuseppe Masseria Future American Mafia boss of bosses Giuseppe Masseria is born in Menfi to Giuseppe Sr. and Vita Marceca Masseria.
1886 5 15 Corleone Palermo Vincenzo Terranova Future East Harlem Mafioso is born in Corleone, Sicily.
1886 5 28 Cianciana Santo Trafficante Sr. Future crime boss of Tampa Florida is born in Cianciana.
1886 7 New York NY Antonio Flaccomio, Flaccomio, in hiding in Buffalo, Chicago, Louisville and New Orleans since 1884, resurfaces in New York City. He appears before John Farach, brother of Camillo Farach, admits responsibility for Camillo's death and asks to be allowed to return to live in the city. Farach tells him to stay out of Brooklyn or he will be killed.
1886 Castellammare del Golfo Trapani Salvatore Maranzano Birth of future American Mafia boss of bosses (a.k.a. "Don Turridru").
1886 New Orleans LA Charles Matranga, Locascio, Mike Hennessy Matranga and Locascio stevedore firm underbids Provenzano firm, wins contracts from produce shipping companies and becomes the main agent for Sicilian longshoremen. Mike Hennessy is shot five times and killed while returning home from a Houston theater.
1887 4 14 New York NY Antonio Flaccomio, Camillo Farach A friend leads Flaccomio to a dark spot at Manhattan's Jersey Street, near Crosby Street, and attacks him. Flaccomio is prepared for the betrayal and shoots his assailant in the wrist. The two men flee. Flaccomio runs a grocery nearby at 607 Third Avenue. He has apparently been condemned to death by regional Mafia leaders who believe he violated underworld codes by taking Camillo Farach's life in 1884 and by aiding a government investigation into Sicilian counterfeiting rings.
1887 6 6 Italy Cesare LaMare Birth of Cesare LaMare.
1888 Shreveport LA Carlo Piranio Future Dallas crime boss Carlo T. Piranio arrives in the U.S. and settles in Shreveport.
1888 1 5 New Orleans LA Rocco Geraci, Anthony Bonora Rocco Geraci, member of the New Orleans Stuppagghieri Mafia, shoots and kills Giardinieri Mafia member Anthony Bonora.
1888 1 27 Agri Frank Nitti Nitti is born in Agri, Italy. Later became member of Five Points Gang in New York and top lieutenant to Capone in Chicago.
1888 7 20 Corleone Palermo Ciro Terranova Future East Harlem Mafioso Terranova is born in Corleone, Sicily.
1888 10 14 New York NY Carlo & Vincenzo Quarteraro, Antonio Flaccomio Flaccomio stabbed to death in the first recognized Mafia murder in New York. Brothers Carlo and Vincent Quarteraro are accused of the crime, which occurred in front of the Cooper Union building at Eighth Street and Third Avenue, not far from Flaccomio's grocery. Flaccomio was drinking and gambling with acquaintances at La Trinicria restaurant at Manhattan's St. Mark's Place, owned by Giuseppe Canizzaro and Natale Sabatino. An argument erupted. Sabatino and Francesco Aita escorted Flaccomio out of the restaurant and down the street. Carlo and Vincenzo Quarteraro charged after Flaccomio with knives. Carlo stabbed Flaccomio to death. Police decided that the killing was the result of a vendetta linked to the betrayal of Sicilian counterfeiting rings and to the murder of Camillo Farach.
1888 10 22 NY Antonio Flaccomio, Carlo Quarteraro, Vincenzo Quarteraro Accused of Antonio Flaccomio's murder, Carlo Quarteraro flees the country. His brother Vincenzo is arrested.
1888 10 22 New York NY Carlo & Vincenzo Quarteraro, Antonio Flaccomio Carlo Quarteraro, believed to be the actual murderer of Flaccomio, has fled the country. His brother Vincenzo turns himself in to police, believing he is wanted merely as a material witness. Vincenzo is charged with murder. NYPD Inspector Byrnes announces to the press that the Palermo, Sicily, Mafia has branches in the United States, headquartered in New York City and New Orleans.
1888 New Orleans LA David Hennessy A wave of reform sweeps through New Orleans and leads to Hennessey's appointment as police chief.
1888 New Orleans LA Rocco Geraci Geraci is identified as top enforcer for the Macheca-Matranga group.
1888 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca, Charles Matranga, Giuseppe Provenzano Authorities believe Macheca-Matranga organization has imported 320 members of the Stoppaglieri group from Sicily. Macheca-Matranga is preparing for all-out war against Provenzano's Mafia and begins challenging Provenzano's monopoly on the docks.
1889 1 5 New Orleans LA Vincenzo Ultonino Mafioso Ultonino (sometimes called Ottumvo) is found dead in a roadside drainage ditch. His throat was cut.
1889 2 11 Joseph Bruno Dovi Birth of future Philly Mob boss Joseph Bruno Dovi.
1889 2 24 New Orleans LA Joe Mattaino Mafioso Mattaino is found dead in his home, his head burned inside his fireplace.
1889 3 New Orleans LA Pietro Vitrano Mafioso Vitrano is discovered beaten to death.
1889 4 New York NY Carlo & Vincenzo Quarteraro, Antonio Flaccomio Vincenzo Quarteraro is acquitted of the Flaccomio murder. Disgusted police detective remarks that Italians in New York can go ahead and "kill each other."
1889 9 1 Herbert Asbury Crime journalist Herbert Asbury is born in Missouri.
1889 Corleone Palermo Giuseppe Morello Morello and an accomplice were assigned by the Mafia to kill Corleone, Sicily, police official Giovanni Vella. Two women witnessed the killing. One was later killed. The other was scared into silence. A Vella political opponent named Francesco Ortelero is blamed, convicted and imprisoned.
1889 Palermo Palermo Ignazio Lupo Lupo, just 12 years old, is believed to have murdered a man named Salvatore Morello (apparently unrelated to the Giuseppe Morello family). Flees to New York to escape prosecution.
1889 Nicholas Sylvester Future New York Mafioso is born.
1890 1 1 Dedham MA Giuseppe DeLucca, Edward Cunningham, Giacchino Cocchiara In Dedham, MA, Giuseppe DeLucca is found guilty of the Nov. 21 killing of Edward Cunningham. Giacchino Cocchiara had testified against his friend and is subsequently marked for death.
1890 1 6 Corleone Palermo Nicholas Terranova Future East Harlem Mafia leader Terranova is born in Corleone, Sicily.
1890 4 25 Tessie Catania Born in Sicily, she later becomes Mrs. Ciro Terranova.
1890 5 6 New Orleans LA Antonio Matranga, David C. Hennessy Early in the morning of May 6, a wagon carrying Matranga stevedores is ambushed at the corner of Claiborne and Esplanade Streets. Three men, including Antonio Matranga, are seriously wounded. Provenzano gang leaders are arrested. Ring attempts to extend lottery contract through a constitutional amendment. The Provenzano gang leadership is sentenced to life in prison for the ambush of the Matranga wagon. As the result of Chief Hennessy’s investigation into the Mafia in New Orleans and in Sicily and of a grand jury probe into police alibis for the Provenzanos, a judge orders a new trial for the Provenzano gang leadership. Hennessy intends to testify in the next trial. Hennessy receives a number of death threats through the summer. Police Chief David Hennessy is ambushed and mortally wounded outside his home. Hennessy dies at Charity Hospital, 9:06 a.m., Oct. 16. Hennessy attack is believed to have resulted from his threat to expose and eliminate the local Mafia. Many local Sicilians and Italians, including J.P., are arrested as suspects in the assassination.
1890 7 New Orleans LA Giuseppe Provenzano Provenzano defendants are convicted of the killings, but judge throws out the verdict and orders a new trial.
1890 10 15 New Orleans LA David Hennessey, Joseph Macheca, Charles Matranga Hennessey is ambushed near corner of Girod and Basin Streets at about 11:30 p.m. He was on his way home to 275 Girod Street. Boy walks ahead of him along the street and whistles a signal. Gunmen emerge and kill the police chief.Macheca-Matranga leadership is hauled in and charged with the assassination.
1890 12 30 Dedham MA Giuseppe DeLucca The Dedham, MA, trial of accused killer Giuseppe Ignazio DeLucca begins.
1890 In the decade 1881-1890, a total of 307,300 Italians entered the United States. The number was 5.9 percent of all immigrants.
1891 1 1 Dedham MA Giuseppe DeLucca In Dedham, MA, Giuseppe DeLucca is found guilty of the Nov. 21 killing of Edward Cunningham. Giacchino Cocchiara testified against DeLucca and is marked for death.
1891 2 27 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca, Charles Matranga, David C. Hennessy J.P. Macheca and eight other defendants are brought to trial Feb. 27 for the murder of Police Chief David Hennessy.
1891 3 2 New Orleans LA Manuel Polizzi, Joseph Macheca, Charles Matranga Defendant Polizzi experiences an apparent emotional breakdown in court March 2 and allegedly names J.P. Macheca and Charles Matranga the heads of the New Orleans Mafia.
1891 3 13 New Orleans LA David C. Hennessy A jury finds none guilty of the assassination of New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessy. The city is outraged.
1891 3 14 New Orleans LA Joseph Macheca, Charles Matranga Angry mob asembles, enters the jail and murders most of the defendants. Macheca is among those killed. Charles Matranga manages to survive the incident and later becomes recognized head of New Orleans underworld.
1891 5 5 New Orleans LA A Louisiana grand jury finds justification for a lynch mob that killed 11 jailed Italians.
1891 8 21 George Moran Birth of future Chicago gang boss George 'Bugs' Moran.
1891 8 26 Brooklyn NY Robert Castellano Brooklyn police investigate threats against cigar store owner Castellano, speculate that a branch of Mafia is responsible.
1891 10 10 Castellammare del Golfo Trapani Stefano Magaddino Birth of Stefano Magaddino in Castellamare del Golfo, Sicily.
1891 Lauropoli Cosenza Francesco Castiglia Birth of Frank Costello. His birthplace is usually said to be the village of Lauropoli. But Selvaggi names the town of Cassano Jonio.
1891 Corleone Palermo Jack Dragna Future California crime boss is born.
1891 Castellammare del Golfo Trapani Salvatore Sabella Future Philadelphia crime boss is born.
1892 7 8 IL Dean O'Banion Birth of future Chicago gang boss Dean (Dion) O'Banion in Illinois.
1893 3 8 New York NY Morello, Terranova family Arrived in U.S. aboard the S.S. Alsatia (from Naples): Mrs. Rosa Marvalesi (Morello), 29; son Calogero Morello, 2 months; Bernardo Terranova, 43; Bernardo's wife Angela Piazza, 44; Lucia Terranova, 16; Salvatrice Terranova, 12; Vincenzo Terranova, 7; Ciro Terranova, 5; Nicholas Terranova, 3; Rosalia Terranova, 5 months; Maria Morello, 24. All had last lived in Corleone, Sicily.
1893 4 2 New York NY Phillip Kastel Future Frank Costello ally Phillip 'Dandy Phil' Kastel is born in New York.
1893 7 1 Montedoro Caltanissetta John Montana John Charles Montana is born in Montedoro, Sicily.
1893 Raffaele Palizzolo Palizzolo is believed to have murdered Baron Emanuele Notarbartolo, who died after 16 knife wounds.
1894 1 9 Boston MA Pasquale Sacco Boston police believe a Camorra or Mafia vendetta might have been behind the brutal razor murder of Neapolitan Pasquale Sacco.
1894 1 9 Boston MA Pasquale Sacco Police speculate that a branch of the Mafia or the Camorra is behind the brutal razor slaying of Sacco.
1894 3 8 Providence RI John Caproni, Dante Regali, Augusto Ferrari Dante Regali and Augusto Ferrari stand trial in Providence, RI, for robbing and beating banker John Caproni.
1894 Messina Messina Giuseppe Morello Sentenced to six years and 45 days plus a 5,000 lira fine for counterfeiting in Italy.
1895 1 1 Washington DC John Edgar Hoover Future FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover is born in Washington, D.C.
1895 1 27 New Orleans LA Dexter Gaster New Orleans Police Chief Dexter Gaster reports that the Mafia, thought dead after 1891 lynchings, has been revived in his city.
1895 2 17 New York NY Stella Frauto Secret Service agents arrest Stella Frauto, 28, 307 East 70th Street, for passing counterfeit coins. Frauto is believed to lead a regional band of counterfeiters. Also arrested are James Merendino, 22, 330 East 107th Street; Taffaele Federico, 28, 2346 Broadway, Giuseppe Abbio, 40, 327 West 40th Street, Salvatore Frauto, 40, and his son Benjamin, 14; Salvatore Clemente, 32, and his wife Madeline, 35, all of 307 East 70th Street.
1895 5 25 Danville IL A mob in Danville, Ill., lynches two alleged leaders of a criminal gang.
1895 5 26 Danville IL Community leaders in Danville, Ill., warn criminal gangs to leave town or face lynching.
1895 6 21 Boston MA Giuseppe DeLucca, Gioacchino Cocchiara, Antonio Caro Armblissa Still fearful of a vendetta arising from his 1890 testimony against Giuseppe DeLucca, Boston barber Gioacchino Cocchiara becomes suspicious of his friend Antonio Caro Armblissa and shoots him twice.
1895 7 4 Waterbury CT Antonio Spadola, Nicolo Errico Waterbury, CT, Mafia leader Antonio Spadola is believed responsible for the shooting of Nicolo Errico.
1895 9 11 Waterbury CT Antonio Spadola, Nicolo Errico, Charles Fiore Newspapers report that Italian witnesses in the Waterbury, CT, trial of accused assassin Antonio Spadola, threatened special police officer Charles Fiore.
1895 Chicago IL 1895 is generally regarded as the official start date for the Unione Siciliana in Chicago. The Unione became a national brotherhood providing support for Sicilian immigrants but was later contaminated by Mafiosi and turned into a criminal network. An earlier start date for the organization (or, perhaps, an earlier parent group) appears likely.
1895 Brooklyn NY Giuseppe Balsamo (a.k.a. "Battista Balsamo") Arrives in New York. Was an established Sicilian Mafioso. One source claims erroneously that he was the first American "Godfather." His authority was likely confined to a small region of Brooklyn.
1895 New York NY Francesco Castiglia Frank Costello arrives in New York. Family settles into apartment on East 108th Street and begins operating a small grocery.
1896 Sam Carolla Birth (orig. Sylvestro Carolla)
1897 2 6 New York NY Louis Buchalter Birth of future New York racketeer and Murder Inc. chief (a.k.a. "Lepke").
1897 2 20 Nicolo Licata Birth of future Los Angeles crime boss Nicolo Licata.
1897 7 18 Vallelunga Caltanissetta Cassandro Bonasera Cassandro "Anthony" "Tony the Chief" Bonasera was born in Vallelunga, Sicily, to Vincenzo and Lucy Spoto Bonasera.
1897 10 2 Villabate Palermo Joseph Profaci Future New York crime boss Joe Profaci is born in Villabate, Sicily.
1897 11 14 Naples Campania Paul Ricca Paul DeLucia, a.k.a. Paul Ricca, is born in Naples.
1897 11 21 Risigliano Campania Vito Genovese Vito Genovese is born in Risigliano, Italy.
1897 11 24 Lercara Friddi Palermo Charlie Luciano Salvatore Lucania. a.k.a. Charlie Luciano, is born in Lecara Friddi, Sicily.
1898 2 3 Marsala Trapani Angelo Genna Future Mafia boss of Chicago, Angelo Genna is born in Marsala to Antonino and Maria Sancore Genna.
1898 2 15 Havana The U.S.S. Maine explodes in Havana Harbor. The event is the trigger for the Spanish-American War.
1898 4 20 Spanish-American War - April 20, 1898, to Dec. 10, 1898.
1898 6 13 Springfield MA Natale Giuliano, Pietro Fazzio Natale Giuliano of Springfield, MA, is charged with the shooting death of his in-law Pietro Fazzio. Though the afternoon killing is done in plain view of many bystanders, all quickly forget the details.
1898 7 1 New York NY Giovanni Pieri Ignazia Ciresi, future wife of Giovanni Pieri, arrived in New York aboard the S.S. Bolivia from Naples. Ciresi, 15, was from Montemaggiore.
1898 11 20 Manhattan NY Vincenzo Gallucci, Giosue Gallucci, Francesco D'Angelo, Luigi LaRosa Camorra gunmen D'Angelo and LaRosa ambush Giosue Gallucci's brother Francesco at the corner of Canal and Mulberry Streets, shooting him to death.
1898 East Harlem NY Giosue Gallucci, Genaro Gallucci, Vincenzo Gallucci, Francesco Gallucci U.S. authorities note the criminal activity of the Gallucci family in New York. They seek to have Giosue Gallucci deported, as he was a known criminal in Italy before traveling to the U.S.
1899 1 23 Humphrey Bogart Humphrey Bogart, future actor in gangster films, is born.
1899 4 28 New York NY Vincenzo Gallucci, Francesco D'Angelo, Luigi LaRosa D'Angelo and LaRosa plead guilty to manslaughter charges in connection with the killing of Vincenzo Gallucci. D'Angelo is sentenced to 20 years in prison. LaRosa is sentenced to 15 years.
1899 7 17 New York NY James Cagney Gangster-actor James Cagney is born in Manhattan.
1899 10 26 New Orleans LA Giuseppe Ardizzone Future Los Angeles Mafia leader Giuseppe Ernesto Ardizzone arrives in New Orleans aboard the S.S. California (the ship does not show up in port arrivals on this date).
1899 11 1 Vallelunga Caltanissetta Joseph DiCarlo Joseph DiCarlo, son of Giuseppe DiCarlo, is born in Vallelunga, Sicily.
1899 12 1 Palermo Palermo Gaetano Lucchese Gaetano 'Tommy' Lucchese is born in Palermo, Sicily.
1899 New York NY Ignazio Lupo Arrives in U.S.
1899 1 17 Brooklyn NY Alphonse Capone Future Chicago crime boss Capone is born in Brooklyn.
1900 8 28 Meyer Lansky Birth of Meyer Lansky, originally Meier Suchowljansky.
1900 11 15 New York NY Giuseppe Morello, Nicholas Terranova Secret Service agents raid the home of Giuseppe Morello, 207 East 107th Street, finding nine revolvers under the bed pillows of Morello and his half-brother Nicholas Terranova. Agents recover black hand letters that Morello's wife stuffed into the diaper of her young child.
1900 In the decade 1891-1900, a total of 651,893 Italians entered the United States. That number was 18 percent of all immigrants.
1900 New York NY A barrel murder victim is discovered at 11th Street and Avenue A


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